After last week’s character led opening to Season 4, topped off with Harry’s dramatic accident at the Queen of Time Exhibit, we are thrown right into the heart of the action and drama of the Selfridge family.
But as Harry struggles to recover, a greater loss awaits.
“Fresh blood is what is needed for the Selfridges empire. Harry Selfridge is the phenomenon, but are his best years behind him?”
Harry’s recuperation after his untimely fall hasn’t brought out the best in him, as he finds himself arguing with Gordon over the store and remains unable to convalesce, despite the reappearance of his daughter Violette (Hannah Tointon).
Harry is too concerned with not being seen as put out to pasture that he makes some rash decisions when it comes to the store too. His hiring of the infamous Dolly Sisters to work Lady Mae’s first Selfridge fashion launch is a particular sticking point and one that has a tense undercurrent to it, that may play out across the rest of the season.
Elsewhere, there is expansion for the rest of the cast. Kitty (Amy Beth Hayes) has a frank spat with her work colleagues over the idea of having children, which leads the usually ambitious Kitty to silently reconsider her options with Frank (Samuel West) and allows Hayes some wonderful emotional scenes. Mr Grove’s (Tim Goodman-Hill) daughter Meryl, now working at Sainsburys, is finding life difficult, but makes the beginnings of an unlikely friendship with machinist Tilly (Mimi Ndiweni).
Greg Austin, as Harry’s son Gordon is given more to play with here and its lovely to see that he remains the most solid and unaffected by the Selfridge name, though it seems Harry misinterprets this as youthful inability.
“I started out working as a showgirl. I’ve had two husbands. I’m not looking for a third. I’m not Harry Selfridge’s plus one and I don’t need looking after.”
Katherine Kelly’s return to Mr Selfridge continues to be effortlessly triumphant and partnering her up with the always brilliant Sacha Dhawan (In the Club) makes for a smoldering double act. It’s nice to think at least Mae could be heading for a happy ending, especially when compared to Harry.
“You’ve had another chance, Harry. Make the most of it.”
Wise words from Harry’s mother, Lois, who always seems to have the right answers. However, this would prove to be one of the last exchanges they would have as Lois is found dead in her armchair by Harry in the closing moments of the episode. Poor Harry. All the women in his life seem to leave him.
Kika Markham’s Lois has always been a strong, influential yet secondary presence to Mr Selfridge and its obvious to see that her passing will send Harry into a downward spiral. Time will tell.
Aired at 9pm on Friday 15 January 2016 on ITV.
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